Atlanta, Badgy, startups, Technology

Full-time startup: Badgy

Today is my first day working full-time on my startup, Badgy, and I’m excited to fully apply the lessons learned from building social games to the digital marketing world.

Badgy started about a year ago when I tried a simple experiment – I gave digital badges on Twitter to 100 people who mentioned the word “Badge”, and asked them to retweet me for another badge. I ran this experiment many times over a weekend, and when 20-25% of people did retweet me each time, I knew I had something, but I didn’t know what it was yet. In more recent months, as Badgy’s market became more clear, a few really talented Atlanta entrepreneurs joined the Badgy team to help build and sell our products.

We’ve discovered that Badgy is tremendously effective at helping consumer brands and the marketing agencies that often manage their social presence grow their audience of engaged users. We worked with a major toilet paper brand and boosted their Twitter followers by 700% over 10 weeks, while also improving the quality of interaction from their fans. More recently, we’ve added features that bring similar power to Facebook using the most effective tools popularized by social games like Zynga’s Farmville and Cityville, and are signing on 2 more customers. If you’re serious about building up the digital marketing program of a product people love, drop me an email at rob at bad dot gy and we’ll put together a plan for how Badgy can amplify your digital marketing efforts.

For me and a several other sharp people, our time making social games at Menue Americas wrapped up a bit sooner than expected. If you need an excellent creative director or 2D artists, let me know and I’ll get you connected. Some very good developers are now available. They’re taking their time finding their next great career move, but if you have some project work that needs to get done properly, especially Facebook development, PHP, Java, or Ruby on Rails web apps, drop me an email and I’ll pass it along if it’s a fit.

Does this mean I’m not going to “Join a Startup“? I’ve done that several times before, and will almost certainly do so again when a good opportunity arrives and makes sense, but that’s not something to rush into. Right now, I’ve got a great startup that has shipped product, shown traction, and generated revenue. That’s 3 steps further than many companies ever get. We’re in a great market – digital marketing has room to grow at least another $50 billion per year in spending. Here’s to the ride.

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ATDC Startup Showcase – Just Go

ATDC’s Startup Showcase will take place this Monday, May 9th, 2011. At $10 for a ticket, I recommend you take the afternoon and figure out a way to attend. I’ve enjoyed this event the past 2 years, and if I weren’t travelling next week, would absolutely be there. Some of the great reasons to attend:

  • Affordable – At $10/ticket ($15 walk up), it’s a lot easier buy than many conferences. Not only do you not need your company to pay for your ticket, you can actually pay for a ticket from cash in your waller.
  • Great Graduate Companies – A great class of companies is being recognized. I’ve had contact with graduates PlayOn Sports, BLiNQ Media, and Solohealth, and think very highly of them. Great startups, great momentum, and I expect the other graduates hold to a similar standard.
  • The Showcase – want to see what several dozen awesome Georgia startups are working on, and get the chance to actually talk to them instead of just staring at press releases and web sites? Lots of companies will have tables set up to show off and talk to you. If you want a startup job, this can be a good place to find a company that’s hiring.
  • Community – If you’re working on a startup, you need help, and you probably haven’t met everyone who could help you, or whom you could help with their company. Spend a few hours meeting other entrepreneurs, get some feedback on your ideas, pitch, strategies. Find someone to help. Good chance you’ll find someone you can help too.